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Compare travel insurance for Tenerife and the Canary Islands

A trip to the Canary Islands offers plenty of magical adventures. There are famous beaches, volcanoes, dramatic mountains and quaint villages to explore. Whether you’re heading for Tenerife, Gran Canaria or other islands, travel insurance could keep you protected.

A trip to the Canary Islands offers plenty of magical adventures. There are famous beaches, volcanoes, dramatic mountains and quaint villages to explore. Whether you’re heading for Tenerife, Gran Canaria or other islands, travel insurance could keep you protected.

Written by
Helen Phipps
Insurance comparison expert
Reviewed by
Rebecca Goodman
Insurance expert
Last Updated
15 JANUARY 2024
6 min read
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Do I need travel insurance for the Canary Islands?

Travel insurance isn’t compulsory, but if something goes wrong on your trip – say, you’re robbed or fall ill – travel insurance could make sure you’re not left out of pocket. Here’s what to look for.

Customers with pre-existing medical conditions

If you have a serious health condition, your travel insurance is likely to be more expensive. Whatever happens, don’t lie to an insurance provider, because this could mean your claim is rejected. When you declare any medical conditions on our website, we’ll only show you quotes from insurance providers who will cover them, with no exclusions.

If your condition is more serious, MoneyHelper has a directory of insurance providers who may be able to provide quotes over the phone. You can call them on 0800 138 7777.

How much is travel insurance for the Canary Islands?

You might not think so from looking at a map, but the Canary Islands are part of Spain. So if you’re visiting Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, La Palma, Tenerife, La Gomera and El Hierro, you’ll need European travel insurance.

How much you pay for your Canary Islands travel insurance will depend on:

  • What activities you’ll be doing while you’re there
  • If you have any pre-existing medical conditions
  • Your age
  • The level of cover you need for medical care, holiday cancellation and lost or stolen luggage 
  • The excess – how much you’re willing to pay towards a claim. 

Travel insurance for the Canary Islands doesn’t have to break the bank. With Compare the Market, you can find peace of mind for as little as £6.84 when you compare single-trip travel insurance for one week in Europe[1].

[1] Based on Compare the Market data for a single trip travel policy for a 20 year old with no pre-existing medical conditions travelling in Europe for 1 week. Prices correct as of March 2024.

What will Canary Islands travel insurance cover?

A typical travel insurance policy for the Canary Islands should cover: 

  • Medical care – if you have an accident or fall ill on your trip. It should also cover repatriation to the UK in a medical emergency.
  • Holiday cancellation – so you can claim back the costs of missed flights, booked accommodation and pre-booked activities, if unforeseen circumstances, like illness or family bereavement, mean you need to cancel.
  • Lost or stolen luggage – be sure to get enough cover for everything you’re taking. And check the single-item limit – the maximum your insurance provider will pay out for one item – so valuables like your phone and watch are covered.
  • Flight cancellations – check the policy to make sure cover for missed connections is included.
  • Coronavirus cover – you may also want to look out for travel insurance that will cover cancellations, medical costs and additional accommodation expenses because of COVID-19. You can compare levels of coronavirus cover using the ‘more details’ option on the quote results page.
No two travel insurance policies are the same, so read the policy carefully to make sure you know what you’re getting.

What won’t Canary Islands travel insurance cover?

While your insurance can provide cover for many of the unexpected costs you might face while travelling in the Canary Islands, there will be exceptions. These may include:  

  • Pre-existing medical conditions – travel insurance won’t cover any medical conditions you don’t tell your provider about. When you get a quote from Compare the Market, every policy we show you will cover any medical conditions you declare.
  • Incidents related to alcohol or drug use – Canary Island resorts like Gran Canaria’s Playa del Inglés and Tenerife’s Playa de las Américas are great for nightlife. But if you’re injured or lose something as a result of being drunk, your claim will likely be rejected.
  • Natural disasters – you may have some cover if a natural disaster impacts your trip but check your policy to be sure. The Canary Islands are susceptible to tremors and minor earthquakes. Tourists aren’t generally affected, but check your inclusions to be safe. If you’re concerned about disruptions caused by a volcanic eruption, you may be able to add volcanic ash disruption and natural disaster cover to your travel insurance policy.
  • Terrorism – your policy may offer some cover but check carefully.

What else should I consider when choosing travel insurance?

The Canary Islands are a great destination for all sorts of adventurous activities, but check your travel insurance to make sure your chosen activities are covered. If they aren’t, you may be able to add them to your policy at an extra cost or find a specialist policy. Activities you might want to cover include:

  • Water sports – if you’re heading to the Canaries for a surfing holiday, or you want to try water-skiing, scuba diving or jet-skiing.
  • Golf insurance could cover loss and damage to your clubs or reimburse green fees if bad weather or illness mean you can’t play.
  • Extreme sports – the Canary Islands offer some of the best year-round conditions for a range of sports, including trail running, bungee jumping, and paragliding.

Insurance providers may not always agree with you on the definition of ‘extreme’. For example, if you’re planning a volcano hike, check your policy details carefully – some exclude hiking over a certain elevation. And Tenerife’s famous Mount Teide tops out at a dizzying 3,715m.

Details on COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for the Canary Islands can be found on the GOV.UK website

How does the GHIC card affect travel insurance in the Canary Islands?

A Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) (formerly the European Health Insurance Card or EHIC) gives you the right to receive state medical treatment on the same terms as other nationals.

However, it only provides a basic level of cover so isn’t a replacement for travel insurance.

You can apply for a GHIC for free on the NHS website.

Any other tips for trips to the Canary Islands?

Here are a few travel facts about the Canary Islands to help you enjoy your trip:

  • Drinking water – the islands have desalinated sea water, which is safe to drink but doesn’t taste great. The locals tend to buy bottled water – it’s cheap and readily available. 
  • Altitude sickness – this can be a risk if you climb above 2,500m. Hikers are advised not to do this in summer. 
  • Tipping – much like at home, leave 12.5% for waiters if you’re happy with the service. Taxi drivers don’t expect tips but do appreciate them. 
  • Try the wines – six of the Canary Islands produce highly respected wines using indigenous grapes that have been there for centuries. 

Where can I compare travel insurance quotes for the Canary Islands?

Travel insurance for your Canary Islands holiday could offer valuable peace of mind and finding the right policy for you couldn’t be easier. Compare offers today and get a quote in minutes.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a visa to visit the Canary Islands?

No, you don’t need a visa provided you’re staying for 90 days or less in a 180-day period.

Is it safe to travel to the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are generally considered a safe destination, with a low crime rate. As with anywhere though, it’s worth keeping your wits about you.

When’s the best time to visit the Canary Islands?

The Canary Islands are a great year-round destination, so it depends what you’re looking for. The warmest months are June to September, but these are generally also the busiest. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and pay less for your accommodation, try spring or autumn. But the Canary Islands are a famously good place to find winter sunshine, too.

Helen Phipps - insurance expert

Having worked in both sides of the industry, Helen’s a real insurance expert. She’s worked directly with several insurance providers and now Compare the Market. She’s always searching for the cheapest prices for customers and is passionate about saving people money. Being married with two kids, Helen knows all about the cost of living and the benefits of having the right products and insurance for the whole family.

Learn more about Helen

Rebecca Goodman - Insurance expert

Rebecca Goodman is a freelance financial journalist who specialises in insurance, personal finance and consumer affairs. Rebecca regularly writes for national newspapers including The Independent and The Mail on Sunday on a wide-range of financial topics. She covers everything from money-saving tips and holiday advice to investigations into how energy efficient appliances can cut the cost of household bills and the impact donating money can have on those in need. Along with features in national papers, Rebecca also writes news stories for websites including and The Money Edit.

Learn more about Rebecca

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